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Year: 2009
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Hilda Peter, Tibor Palffy, Norbert Tanko, Melinda Kantor, Sebastian Marina, Roberto Giacomello, Laszlo Matray
Director: Peter Strickland
Countries: Romania / UK / Hungary
Language: Romanian / Hungarian (English subtitles)
UK: 82 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong sex references
UK Release Date: 9 October 2009 (Limited Release)
UK Distributor


Banished by her husband and her village, Katalin Varga is left with no other choice than to set out on a quest to find the real father of her son Orban.

Taking Orban with her under another pretence, Katalin travels through the Carpathians where she decides to reopen a sinister chapter from her past and take revenge. The hunt leads her to a place, she prayed eleven years prior, she would never set foot in again.

Peter Strickland's KATALIN VARGA is his first feature film and was made entirely independently over four years, costing less than 30,000 euros to make.

Strickland was first inspired by the world of cinema when in 1990 he saw David Lynch's Eraserhead in the cinema. It changed his life. He went on to study fine arts and in 1996 founded the musique-culinary group 'The Sonic Catering Band' with friends from Reading, releasing several records and performing live throughout Europe. He honed his directing skills at Reading's amateur Progress Theatre.

KATALIN VARGA was shot the film in Transylvania after Strickland's late uncle left him a small legacy; for him and his tiny crew in what was a labour of love.

Exhaustive efforts to raise interest in an 82-minute rough cut he touted around festivals failed to raise a flicker of interest until Romanian producer Oana Giurgiu -- who, despite lack of interest in another script Strickland was punting, asked to see the screener.

The film needed substantial sound, color and editing post-production and she brought her husband, Tudor Giugiu of Bucharest's Libra Film, on board to come in with her as producers. Eighteen months later KATALIN VARGA had its red carpet treatment at the Berlin Film Festival.

Winner Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution in the Sound design - Berlin Film Festival 2009

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